What does it mean to respect the opinions of others?
I want to have a little discussion about respecting the opinions of others. Should the opinions of others always be respected? It is common to say that “the opinions of others should be respected.” If respect means not turning disagreement into violence in action, then it is prudent. If it means that I can be indifferent to your opinion, it can be disputed.
Effects of opinions and views
I can be indifferent to your opinion if your opinion has no effect on my life and does not deprive me of my rights.
If my neighbor believes in the Fifteen Gods, but his belief does not cause him to dump his garbage in front of my house and cause me any sound or psychological disturbance, I respect his opinion of the gods; I mean, I don’t care about that.
When other beliefs have a direct or indirect effect on my life, respect is meaningless. I have to pay attention to that opinion. I have to enter into a conversation with you. If you are not a conversationalist, I have to take every practical step to reduce the impact of your ideas on my life.
I should be able to prevent your ideas from being imposed on my life.
This is also true of saying that “people’s opinions are respected.” The opinions of the people are not respected if they violate the privacy and fundamental rights of others.
Basically, respect in these discussions is a vague word and it is better to replace it with clearer interpretations.
What secularism suggests is that religion is separate from government policy and social services. In a secular society, no one or group is harmed. There are many examples where adherents of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, atheism, Buddhism have all been able to live comfortably in a secular society.
All comments and criticisms are welcomed.